Local News

Petition Closed But New Issues Raised: HIAL’s Air Traffic Strategy

MSPs today, 8th of June, decided to close petition PE1804: Halt Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd Air Traffic Management Strategy. The members of the Scottish Parliament’s Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee took the view that they had met the conditions of the petition as no more would be done on this proposed strategy for 5 years.

A number of concerns were raised by Rhoda Grant, Labour MSP for the Highlands and Islands about the situation at Sumburgh Airport in Shetland. Radar cover at Sumburgh is provided by NATS but this was due to be moved over to Inverness by HIAL.

Rhoda Grant’s concerns included: the training of staff deployed for this work (which seems to have ceased), the manual being rewritten which requires CAA approval, the staffing required and uncertainty over whether the scheme has been signed off , or not, by Transport Scotland.

The committee will now write to the Petitioners advising them of their decision to close the petition but that a new petition could be brought forward with the multiple issues raised over the situation at Sumburgh.

The Orkney News has several articles on the failed HIAL plans to relocate air traffic services from the islands to a remote tower in Inverness.

Fiona Grahame

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